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Clinical Simulation Program

The Emergency Medicine Simulation Program is focused on training residents in the timely recognition and appropriate intervention for critically ill patients. Besides learning medical management, simulation training provides a hands-on opportunity to practice skills and real-time decision-making. This training improves residents' confidence and competence with a large educational focus on the principles of crisis resource management: effective teamwork, leadership, and communication in high stakes situations.

Importance of Simulation Training

Simulation training is an increasingly important component of medical education. Emergency medicine, in particular, is a specialty where practice in the simulation center is applicable to clinical care.  EM residents are consistently faced with the challenge of caring for critically ill patients in a complex hospital environment. Beyond medical knowledge and skills, responding appropriately to acute life-threatening events involves working well within an interprofessional team. Simulation training provides an opportunity to practice and debrief effective teamwork strategies to help mitigate the many challenges of the ED.

The Department of Emergency Medicine Simulation Committee has developed a comprehensive simulation curriculum to include both pediatric and adult simulation training. With the opening of our UW Clinical Simulation Program’s 6,400 square foot center, our residents have a greater ability to participate in interdisciplinary training, as well as enhance their procedural skills in airway management, ultrasound, central line access, and many other essential EM procedures. Using high fidelity simulators, procedural skills trainers, and integrated ultrasound capabilities, residents and medical students have the opportunity to practice the acute management of critically ill patients, as well as sharing difficult information with patients and families, and then discuss their performance in a structured debriefing.

Our philosophy of simulation is that it is a crucial tool to enhance patient care. As such, we utilize simulation to constructively educate, and create a safe space to gain experience in managing the critically ill and difficult patients. Debriefings are a key portion of any simulation program, and we focus on constructive reflection and discussions of leadership, teamwork, principles of communication, and medical management.

Simulation Training Highlights

1) RESUS Curriculum

Simulation training occurs on a monthly basis as part of our block schedule. Our award-winning RESUS curriculum focuses on smaller groups cycling through multiple stations incorporating REsuscitation, Simulations, Ultrasound, and Skills into a unified curriculum covering the full scope of Emergency Medicine. We focus on the first moments of resuscitation and honing interprofessional communication as we integrate both nursing students and pharmacy residents into our curriculum.

2) Intern orientation

In addition to the monthly session, the majority of our intern orientation is conducted in the simulation center with both lecture and hands on training. This has afforded us the opportunity to train in realistic patient care areas and then debrief in comfortable conference rooms. 

3) Milestone Assessments

During the PGY-2 year, residents undergo a summative simulation-based assessment of their skills in various areas. This is intended to provide comprehensive feedback and help guide residents in their study focus as they enter the second half of residency. 

4) SimWars/Sonogames

Every year we hold a competition between residents and faculty to see which team can master a series of difficult cases (written and run by sim-minded residents) to claim bragging rights and take control of the Golden SimBaby trophy. This is a fun event for both residents and faculty to showcase their skills.

Join the Simulation Interest Group

Residents interested in becoming more involved in learning how to develop a scenario, operate the equipment and facilitate a debriefing can join our Simulation Interest Group.  For more information, please contact the Director of EM Simulation Ryan Thompson, MD.